While Barry Jenkins’ emotional and evocative James Baldwin adaptation “If Beale Street Could Talk” is primarily focused on the relationship between its fated lovers Tish and Fonny, the Oscar winner also folds in a number of essential supporting performances. One, of course, belongs to this year’s Best Supporting Actress winner Regina King, but the film also features remarkable turns from Teyonah Parris and Brian Tyree Henry. But look closer still, and “Beale Street” comes alive with smaller parts for actors like Dave Franco and Diego Luna.
“Beale Street” stars newcomer Kiki Layne as Clementine “Tish” Rivers, a young woman who fights to exonerate her imprisoned boyfriend after he is wrongfully accused of rape. The pressure to get Alonzo “Fonny” Hunt (Stephan James) out of jail becomes heightened after Tish discovers she is pregnant. IndieWire’s Eric Kohn hailed “Beale Street” as a “masterful poetic romance” in his A- review out of TIFF.
Like Franco, Luna appears in just two scenes in the final film, appearing as a Mexican waiter at one of Fonny’s local haunts. That may sound small, but the part is suffused with the kind of warmth that only Luna could deliver. Well, maybe Jenkins could too, because as Luna told Vulture before the film’s release, he has a sneaking suspicion he’s actually planning the filmmaker in those scenes.
“It’s a tiny role, but it’s so important, and it brings so much warmth to the story,” Luna told the outlet last October. “When I was chatting to Barry — and this is not anything I told him — but when I was chatting to him, he was describing to me the role and what [the character] was supposed to bring to this love story. I was like, He’s describing himself. He’s telling me it’s me, but no — I’m serving as a mirror, because he’s actually talking about himself.”
With “Beale Street” hitting digital and home video release this week, fans can get a closer look at that kindness, care of a deleted scene that sees Luna’s Pedrocito and Layne’s Tish bonding over life, love, pain, and a little bit of wine.
“If Beale Street Could Talk” is available now on Digital, Blu-ray, and DVD. Check out IndieWire’s exclusive deleted scene from the special features below.